Conversations with Tope Mark
The stretched hands
folded fingers into a collective
that birthed my great-grandfather
Cannot be refused
It is like a witness to anger in the presence of the old
But here in return is my long silence broken,
Without a word
To accept is to limit the thrust of my force
And to refuse is to lose the trust of my people.
This is the way of a tribe
Interfering when it is too late,
Posturing peace when the guns are clothed red for battle
In a city where betrayal is commonplace
From the first settlers to contemporary storie
of young independence
From the warring tribes of tributes and long held grudges…
This city of blood supports the thief in his strides
This city laments and displaces the blocks of tyranny it built
This city of diplomatic cunning becomes like Ilu-Ibinu
Loses men to the vortex of the cosmos, sneaking to pay homage to its gradual death.
This city is inscribed in history
It is the place where men chose to disown their homes.
I have sacrificed the Karmic symbols inscribed on a bountiful goat
To my gods
And I have accepted the tragedian footsteps that rattles into a quiet dance
My joy comes from being alive from the journey riddled with highway
My lot is with the maker who knows all and plays that game of justice with
Esu, his errand boy.
Yet, I accept the calabash of ‘let go’
Stretched before me by my 3rd generation grandmother
long before it was given
But I do not accept the diplomacy of lies or the forgetfulness forged into a
new calabash of friendship
I accept silence for my woes.
Femi Morgan is a writer and a media executive. He is the author of five books of poetry including Renegade, and Whispers. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.